With its hip-hop soundtrack and young cast, St. Jerome could easily look like a staged music video
THE MAKING OF ST. JEROME by Marie Beath Badian (eastBOUNDtheatre). At Factory Studio (125 Bathurst). January 8 at 9:15 pm, January 9 at 9 pm, January 10 at 7:15 pm, January 13 at 8:30 pm, January 14 at 5:30 pm, January 16 at 7:15 pm, January 17 at 3:30 pm. Tickets are $12-$15, some pass discounts 416-966-1062, fringetoronto.com.See listings. Rating: NNNN
Unanswered questions persist since the 2004 police slaying of local Filipino teen Jeffrey Reodica, and playwright Marie Beath Badian’s play explores the emotional damage to his family and friends in the aftermath.
Reodica’s brother (played by Byron Abalos) serves as the narrator, seeking justice while battling his own anger and survivor guilt. The strong five-person cast handles multiple roles with clear definition, especially Aura Carcueva as the distraught mother.
Although the dialogue is at times repetitive and the script includes disorienting flashbacks, director Nina Lee Aquino creates an energetic and visually compelling production. With its hip-hop soundtrack and young cast, the play could easily look like a staged music video, but on Jackie Chau’s amazing multi-purpose set made from rattling metal mesh, Aquino uses Aaron Kelly’s lighting design, Romeo Candido’s kick-ass sound, and the cast’s vocal talents to keep it highly theatrical.[rssbreak]
More of the Next Stage festival reviews: The Making Of St. Jerome | Just East of Broadway | Quite Frankly